There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the recent accessory dwelling unit (ADU) law changes in California for 2023. We will cover everything you need to know about these updates, so you can understand what this means for you, your property, and your dwelling unit.

What is an ADU?

An ADU is a formal term for an in-law suite or granny flat. ADUs can also include backyard cottages or any other secondary building located on the property of the main house. There are also built-in ADUs that are located in the basement or attached to a home. 

No matter the type, there are endless benefits to having a house with an ADU, such as:

  • The ability to earn passive income. You can potentially rent out an ADU to a tenant. 
  • An increase in property value. People are willing to pay more for multi-family homes for sale as they offer flexibility, family inclusivity, more privacy, and potentially even a lower financial burden. 
  • The ability to house guests and friends. Instead of having your friends or family from out of town stay in a nearby hotel, they can be closer to you with an ADU on your property. This will ultimately be less of a hassle for your family and friends who are looking to visit.

Changes to ADU Laws in 2023

Now that we have talked about ADUs and how they can benefit you, we will address some pressing questions: what exactly were the recent law changes in California? and how might it affect you? If you already have an ADU or are looking into getting a pre-built ADU, then you’ll want to remember this.

The updated California ADU law means that the review time for building ADUs will quicken, there will be more flexible sizing for the dwelling unit, and both regular-size and junior ADUs are allowed on the same property. However, it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the change in rules, local agencies can no longer impede with strict guidelines that transcend state authorization. It also does not allow them to initiate impact fees for units under 750 square feet.

custom living room - ADU remodeling

Add 2 More Units to Your Lot 

As mentioned above, adding more units to your lot can increase your property value, and the new changes in ADU laws make this easier. Senate Bill (SB) 9 surrounds duplexes (side-by-side units) and lot splits. SB 9 gives homeowners the ability to transform their current single-family house into two lots where one duplex can be assembled per lot. As long as the initial homeowner has been at that place of residence for three years or more, then this is applicable.

Dwellings for Multiple Families

Apart from its realty appeal, building an ADU opens doors to multi-family units and duplexes. This can be done by having multiple units within a single structure, or you can have two detached ADUs on one single-family lot.

amazing living room with baseboard trim and ceiling potlights - home remodeling company

Additional Restrictions Prohibited on ADU Laws

This change will have a benefit on all ADU owners and families in California, as it no longer allows the government to:

  • Create guidelines surrounding the minimum lot size needed 
  • Implement a 60-day approval system for ADU plans or JADU plan permit applications if a single-family or multi-family dwelling is on the lot

  • Set a required maximum ADU size
  • Limit replacement parking for garage ADUs
  • Implement a guideline that states a 4-foot side and backyard are required
  • Enforce fixing physical elements on a property or house in order to be approved for an ADU
  • Require the sole owner to live on the main property or ADU

What The New Changes Mean

These new changes mean that in California, it will be easier to acquire an ADU. Many stringent restrictions have been lifted, offering more flexibility for homeowners.

Contact Us 

Now that building and getting approved for an ADU is easier, you might consider getting one for your property. From staying close to your family to making extra income, there is a fountain of reasons to consider this option. If these reasons aren’t enough motivation, then maybe you’d like to turn the space into a creative studio or an at-home office. Imagine the privacy you’d have to work on your job or hobbies!

And you are in luck because, at Top Home Builders, we construct ADUs! Our home remodeling services follow all the ADU laws, and we cater to your needs so you can take hold of your future. 

If you’re considering adding an ADU to your property or are thinking of converting your house into one, call us today, and we’ll take care of you.